This month at the annual ARDA (American Resort Development Association) meeting in Las Vegas, a spokesman mentioned that they are offering short term timeshare contracts. According to Welk Resorts CEO Jon Fredricks, they offer short term timeshare ownership contracts – 3 or 7 years, in addition to indefinite contracts.
Probably unrelated but still worth noting is Welk Resort’s lawsuit last summer against Timeshare Exit Team. Apparently a number of Welk timeshare owners have used their services to unload their timeshare – forcing it back on to the Welk timeshare developer. None too happy about the situation, Welk is accusing them of racketeering and causing breaches of contracts that the owners were obliged to.
The service Timeshare Exit Team provides is to help timeshare owners get rid of a timeshare they feel they were mislead or fraudulently persuaded into buying. The indefinite period of the typical timeshare sales contract also leads to the helpless feeling these owners have. They will never be free from their timeshare.
That may be part of what has led to Welk resort short term contracts. Under the terms of these new timeshare purchases an owner would be buying rights to a week per year for only a few years. This may be better described as a lease rather than a purchase contract. A timeshare lease, or Right to Use, has been in existence for decades, especially in Mexico. By using a lease you simplify the entire process and take the issue of property ownership right out of the deal.
So if Welk resorts is introducing short term timeshare “ownership” deals at least dissatisfied owners will know they are not locked in forever. They will be out of the contract in a few years. The overall cost per week will probably be more, but fallout rate (rescission) will likely be less.
Welk resort short term contracts – good idea, but not enough.
Here’s another idea for Welk resorts: offer a buy back or exit strategy for the owners that makes sense. After reviewing over 100 reviews from angry owners, Welk resorts needs to come up with a rational way to help owners unload their unwanted timeshares.
Its one thing to have an angry customer. It is much worse if you intentionally attach yourself to them the rest of their lives.
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